Sonnet on Niagara by Emmeline Stuart-Wortley

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Lady Emmeline Stuart-Wortley, 1806-1855. Portrait by Frederick Christian Lewis Sr . Courtesy Wikipedia Commons

Waters of wonder! whose dread cry, profound,
‡‡Is as the world’s voice lifted to the sky!
‡‡A wild, and terrible, and awful cry,
Fall! pealing with a more than sea-deep sound,
Thrills not the earth to thee for leagues around?—
‡‡Art thou not heard into the Eternity?—
‡‡Beyond that upper air that seems to lie
Listening above thee in bright silence bound?
‡‡On plumes of swift imagination borne,
How have I seen thee, mighty cataract! sent
‡‡As ’twere from Heaven to Earth, of strength unshorn!
How have I o’er thy scene o’erpowering bent,
‡‡Adored thy wrathful play and savage scorn,
‡‡Thou won’drous Chaos of one Element!


Source: Emmeline Stuart-Wortley. Queen Berengaria’s Courtesy and Other Poems. London: J. Rickerby–J. Hatchard and Son, 1838

Click here to read a biography of Emmeline Stuart-Wortley

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